Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Update

So here we are ... the end of the Christmas season and embarking on the beginning of a new year. What a great year 2007 ended up being. But I'll save the 2007 wrap up for another post. Below are a wide variety of pictures.

We will start with a picture of us by the Capital Christmas tree. We went downtown with the Hydoski's:
Here we have a picture of our Christmas lunch table. Check out our previous post for more Christmas day pics.
This is me cooking breakfast for Mari ... I guess this is called self-promotion ... but Mari took the picture. My brother-in-law from Argentina thinks I should cook breakfast for Mari more often, here is proof that I did it least once recently.
This is the breakfast we had at the beach. Do people like pictures of food? I think my Mom would like this picture, do you Mom?
This is an example of how not to take a self-portrait. Notice the camera shadow and Mari's squinting ... two things to avoid when taking a self-portrait:
Mari is an incredible photographer. She takes cool pictures like this and the ones below:
Check out how she got the Capital, Christmas Tree, and the Moon:
This is cool too:
I had the privilege of playing Timpani at our Church's Christmas Eve production.
While we were driving back from the beach one day, Mari stopped me and said, "Watch out for the cow!" Below is the cow she was talking about. From a distance I guess it looked like it might walk into the road.
This is a picture Mari wanted to take so we could remember our first Christmas together. Thank you Lord for brining Mari and myself together to celebrate your incarnation. Happy New Year everybody!

All I want for Christmas are five stitches??

2007 marks the year of our first married Christmas! It was ever so calm and relaxing. Late morning, lunch with Mama Spitzberg, and then a drive to the beaches in Delaware. Kind friends of the family allowed us to use their beautiful townhome. What a Christmas blessing!
We had a very chilled (literally) time at Millsboro, drove to Rehoboth, shopped at the outlets till my hubby was getting green and enjoyed some country food at Cracker Barrel. Even though I had a cold the whole time we really enjoyed our stay in Delaware! Here are some pics from the beach:

God protected us on our way back home. When we arrived back to the apartment we decided to perfect our tennis and bowling skills. See, Dave got a Wii from his mom for Christmas and we love it! We played on Christmas day together. Here are Bobbi and I playing:
After being away for two days we were having withdrawal symptoms so we decided to get in a couple of games before going to bed.

We played a couple of rounds of tennis, and my husband completely crushed me and then we moved to bowling. First game was fine. And then, there was the second game...

See, it states very clearly when you start playing that you have to clear everything away from where you are playing. But our coffee table was in the way of my hubby and another strike. Ouchhh!!
After a visit to the ER Dave got 5 stitches. The moral here is follow the directions!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Update - CG Christmas Party & Ornaments

Well, tonight was the first annual Spitzberg Care Group Christmas Party. So we thought we'd put some pics up. Also, we wanted to post about our two personal ornaments.

Here are some peeps enjoying way too much sugar.

We had a 'charity debate.' Mari came up w/ the idea that we give money to a charity instead of doing a white elephant. So I came up w/ the idea to have a debate to see which charity we'll give the money too. Everyone brought $5 and they had to think about which charity they would want to receive our funds.

We also played a game called 'Hoopla,' which Mari rocked at ... she's cool like that!

Now we turn to our Christmas ornaments, but first ... here's Francisco w/ no flash.

This is an ornament that our good friend Millie gave to me 2 years ago. I love it!!

This is an ornament that Mari bought for us last year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Introducing Francisco...

Our friends Dave and Cara Wilcox name their Christmas trees after U.S. presidents. For instance, this year's tree is called William Howard after the fattest American president. So, following in that tradition we wanted to get our tree and give it a president's name. But, we'd choose an Argentinian president.
On our quest for a tree the idea was to get a fake one (in order to save money). Since it was going to be a fake tree, I had the perfect name for it. President Carlos Menem. Those of you who know something about Argentinian history will understand why, and those who don't, well you can figure things out....
But alas, fake trees are very expensive (I guess someone has to pay Martha Stewart's legal fees)! So, we ended up buying a real tree. When we brought "him" home I could not think of a president's name that fit him, but the name Francisco came to mind. And so, we baptized him Francisco Spitzberg. Catchy, uh?
As I was thinking about the name Francisco, I remembered that the nickname for it (at least in Argentina) is Pancho. The word pancho means hot-dog, but it also refers to someone who chills. Like: "El tipo estaba muy pancho" - "the guy was chilling." I guess our tree Francisco is very pancho, he likes to chill.
Dave and I had a great time decorating Francisco! He did all the lights and then we both worked on the decorations. We went with burgundy colors, ribbons and pine cones. Pretty simple. Here are some pictures of the before and after:

Mari-Vana showing Francisco before the decorations

Ta-da! Dressed-up Francisco

Up close and personal with Pancho

We look forward to making many more memories decorating our Christmas trees. Maybe next year we'll give our tree a President's name...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mom's Birthday Party #1

Happy Birthday Mom! Even though she will not officially turn 26 until next Saturday, last night we had a little birthday party. Mari, myself, Gene, and Cleo all went over to her house to have dinner. I found out that pot roast actually takes 90 minutes to cook, not 45. Now I know. Here are some pictures from the birthday get-together:

My Mom and Mari's famous pumpkin cheesecake.

It took about 10 attempts to get this picture, and I still had to crop it. We made some memories though.

Mari & Mom!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

La primera nevada de la temporada

Mientras todos usteded en Argentina (familia y amigos) estan disfrutando del comienzo de los calorcitos veraniegos, por aca estamos disfrutando de un poco de nieve. En realidad, a esta altura toda la nieve desaparecio. Pero yo saque un par de fotos para compartir con ustedes esta primera nevada que fue un poco inesperada. Y nada, me siento emocionada, y con ganas de comer una empanada... En fin, como podran ver estuve en Argentina suficiente tiempo como para que los comerciales se me pegaran! Aca estan las fotos que saque desde el fondo de mi depto.

Cayo bastante nieve por se la primera nevada!

Bueno, no tengo mucho que contar porque estoy a full con la facu. Hoy termine una de las clases y la semana que viene tengo los ultimos dos finales. Despues un descancito navideno y a mediados de Enero de nuevo a la lucha. Si Dios quiere, en Junio del 2008 me recibo de los 2 primeros anos y me transfiero a la Universidad de Maryland para los dos ultimos anos. Ya veremos que pasa...
Aca los dejo con mis fotos mas "artisticas"...
Un candy cane!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

PG Update

What is it like to teach Instrumental Music in PG county? Well, it is great. Most of the time I'm tempted to complain about my job, but today there is nothing but gratefulness. In my youth I had the dream that I could change the world through music. As I've gotten older, God has helped me to see that the only way to change the world is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I still dream that I could use music to brighten peoples lives. Today, God gave me the opportunity to do just that. I had the privilege to take 20 of my Wind students and 10 String students to Independence Court, a retirement home in Hyattsville MD. The students were able to perform outside of their school and the residents at Independence Court received a concert. My students got the better end of the deal, because not many people want to hear 2nd year elementary students play their instruments (unless Ben Chouinard teaches them). Anyway, it was a great time today and I'm grateful to be a Prince Georges County instrumental music teacher. Check out the pics below.

Me, the students (blurred for their protection), and some residents.

Not only am I grateful for the concert today, but PG uses 'real' computers ...

This is one of my classrooms.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ed & Neesham

Mari and I are excited to have a new link next to 'friends blogs.' My brother and his wife have their own blog, so if you have time, check it out.
This has been an exciting year for the Spitzberg brothers. We both got married! Below you will find pictures of my brothers wedding, which happened the same day as Mari's 30th birthday: October 13. Now, I will never forget Ed's anniversary ... well, as least I hope I never forget Ed's anniversary.
I love my brother! He has been supportive my whole life and I have always looked up to him. I remember watching him in all his musicals and thinking to myself, "I hope I can someday perform with him." That day happened when I played drums and Ed performed the role as 'Nicely Nicely' in Guys & Dolls at Rockville Musical Theater.
I love my sister-in-law as well. I have always wanted a younger sister and now I have one. Neesham is one of the most classy women I have met (except for Mari ... of course). The four of us always have fun when we get together.
Ed and Neesham, we love you guys and look forward to many more times together of laughing and Beemer spilling coffee on me. Check out some pics of their wedding.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fa La La La La ... La La .... La La

Well, I have been reading about a war on Christmas lately (read more here). My friend Kerrin has made himself the general of this war. I believe last night Mari and I lead people to attend an event that benefited Kerrin's opponent (whoever that may be) and this event was filled with "ridiculous symbolism." We went to Wolf Trap for their "Holiday Sing-a-Long." Mari was the one who first had the idea to attend, but I had a great time too. This could become an annual tradition for us. Check out the pictures below and then I will post my beliefs about the war on Christmas.

Here we have Kip, Kate, Mutiga, Paul, Dave, Mari-the most beautiful, Jason, & Juliana w/ candles. The guy who took the picture suggested we turn off the flash. Good call Mr. nice guy who took the picture.

Wolf Trap invited "The Presidents Own" Marine Band to lead us singing holiday favorites like: "Jingle Bells" "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" "Joy To The World" "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" "O Come, All Ye Faithful" "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" "Hallelujah Chorus (My favorite because I will be playing the Timpani part at our Church so it was pretty cool seeing one of the best Timpani players in America hit em)" & "Silent Night"
Mari, Mutiga, and Paul enjoy some hot coccoa while singing their favorite holiday song.

Juliana and Jason sing their favorite song: "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer"

One aspect of the evening I found very interesting were all the 'Jesus' songs. It was a blast singing the songs our Church typically sings for our Christmas Eve service. Speaking of Christmas Eve service, I think that Kerrin's war on Christmas has some good points and some unnecessary points. (Please know that Kerrin has a unique sense of humor and I hope you get to enjoy some of his postings, but read at your own risk ... if you find yourself getting tempted or angry, stop reading.) I think any holiday has tendencies to be overcomercialized (sp.). But I think that Christmas is slamming and that there's no need for a war. In light of that, I appoint myself as the 'United Nation of Promoting Peace Not~War During Christmas Time.' Plus, if we change Christmas to September 29th, I'd have to change my calendar all around, and that would be a pain. I'll post more later about my new role as peace manager during this time of war. Or I may join the dark side w/ my wife who is a lieutenant for Kerrin. She was doing '24-type' survey lance of the enemies territory last night.

While I'm posting, I wanted to tell you that I got new shoes. First I will show my old shoes and than my new ones. I typically by shoes every 18 months, but since I've been married Mari has helped me to see that it is better to buy shoes before the sole is all gone.

Can you guess which are the old shoes and which are the new ones?

Well, the last bit of rambling is that I had the opportunity to play percussion at a friends wedding this weekend. I love going to weddings and love playing djembe at weddings. There is something very sobering to hear a pastor give an exhortation to a brand new husband. May God help me to live out my vows I made to Mari every day. Here's a picture of the djembe I played.